Mr. Johnson is a photographer, musician, educator, and Chair of the Photography Department at Cypress College. As a former darkroom assistant to Ansel Adams and custom printer for many other photographers, he earned a national reputation for printing both color and black & white images. He introduced digital photography and imaging into his departmental curriculum and teaches this technology and its relationship to all areas in the larger field of photography. His personal images are largely landscape-based and often explore how reality is perceived and unintentionally altered through photography. His work has been widely exhibited at galleries and universities throughout the country, including: Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, The Friends of Photography, BC Space Gallery, Irvine Fine Arts Center, CSU Fullerton, Colorado State University, Elmira College, and Utah State University.
Mr. Johnson is a founding member of The Legacy Project. This group of six photographic artists is dedicated to photographically documenting the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro as it transitions from a military base into what may become the largest urban park in the country. As a member of the Legacy Project he has helped to create one of the largest photo documentary archives in the history of the medium. The group has created in excess of 120,000 images to date. In connection with the Legacy Project, he has composed an original musical work entitled Ghost which was first performed at BC Space Gallery in Laguna Beach in 2004.
The Legacy Project, in addition to straight photography, has created a number of unique visual projects that expand the meaning documentary image making. Among these are The Perimeter Project, The Runway Project, The Time Course, and The Great Picture. The latter of these, The Great Picture, involved creating the world’s largest functioning camera inside which the largest single photographic image ever made was produced on one seamless piece of muslin fabric. This mammoth photograph is three stories high by eleven stories long and provides a panoramic view of a portion of the former Marine Corps Air Station El Toro that is destined to become the heart of the Orange County Great Park.
In addition to his photographic activities Mr. Johnson is a pianist and composer. His original compositions have been performed at a variety of venues locally including BC Space Gallery in Laguna Beach. Most recently he performed one of his pieces for the opening reception of the Hillcrest Festival of the Arts. The piece, titled "We Are, He Is", was composed specifically for the event.